In its latest guest column, Hatton and Spencer reveals the dramatic increase in the importance of stocking products considered sustainable by consumers.

Managing director, Cathie Osborne, explains how you can be sure the supplier you are buying from is as trustworthy and eco-conscious as they claim.

Fine jewellery purchases influenced by sustainability considerations are poised for dramatic growth.


By 2025, an estimated 20-30% of global fine jewellery sales will be influenced by sustainability considerations, from environmental impact to ethical sourcing practices.

But jewellery business owners must look beyond sustainability as a factor in risk mitigation and think of it as an opportunity to build brand value by pursuing responsible business practices.

A recent McKinsey report highlighted: “Executives are now viewing ethically and environmentally sound practices as a business opportunity.

“By 2025, we expect sustainability-influenced purchases will account for 20-30% of all fine jewellery sales (equivalent to $70-110 billion [£51-80 billion]). This would be a remarkable three to four times increase from 2019.”

Industry executives are noticing a palpable change in the intensity of calls from consumers for greater sustainability, both environmental and social, especially among the coveted young luxury consumer.

While just 12% of Baby Boomers are willing to pay more for products deemed to be sustainable, this number nearly triples to 31% for the Gen-Z consumer demographic.

How to make sure your supplier is sustainable
Chambers suggests that one useful questions to ask your packaging supplier in regards to wood, MDF, cardboard, paperboard and paper boxes or bags, “Are the materials used renewable, easily recyclable and biodegradable?”

Another question to ask would be: “Have you obtained FSC certification?” The FSC system is committed to sustainable forest management and ensures that forests are used in accordance with the social, economic and ecological needs.

Meanwhile, for hinged boxes, the plastics have a better CO2 footprint than paperboard, however crude oil is used in plastic production, so asking whether the supplier’s packaging contains plastic and if it’s re-cycled could help inform you whether they are a good company to work with.

Chambers also suggests you look out for a supplier’s commitments. The UN Global Compact is a solid commitment to social and environmental responsibility. The ten principles of the Global Compact cover human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and fighting corruption.

A Sedex manufacturing partner, meanwhile, is audited based on the SMETA (Sedex Members’ Ethical Trade Audit) procedure which covers working conditions, occupational safety and hygiene, and environmental management.

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